Mike Minor threw seven innings of one-run ball and Andrelton Simmons hit a solo home run to help the Atlanta Braves salvage their series against the St. Louis Cardinals by taking the finale of the four-game set, 5-2, Sunday at Busch Stadium.
Minor (13-5) scattered six hits and a walk and threw 65 of his 97 pitches for strikes in another efficient start for the Braves, who had lost five of seven games coming in but still hold a comfortable lead atop the NL East.
Jordan Schafer filled the box score with a double, a triple, a run scored and an RBI, and Elliot Johnson went 2-for-4 with an RBI in the victory.
"We didn't want to get swept," Schafer said. "It was a big win for us."
Allen Craig recorded three hits and drove in a run for the Cardinals, whose starter, Lance Lynn (13-8), was touched for four runs on nine hits over seven innings.
Schafer legged out a triple to open the game and scored on Johnson's base hit to right field past a diving Matt Carpenter.
The Braves tacked on two in the second on opposite-field hits from Paul Janish and Schafer, the latter hitting a ball down the left-field line that bounced over the wall for a ground-rule double.
Lynn settled down from there, but served up a solo home run to Simmons in the seventh after Matt Holliday's RBI groundout put the Cardinals on the board the previous half-inning.
Gerald Laird's sacrifice fly in the eighth gave the Braves a 5-1 lead, and the Cardinals got their first and only hit with a runner in scoring position in the bottom half when Holliday doubled and scored on Craig's two-out single to center.
Craig Kimbrel entered from the bullpen and stranded Craig on first, then set down the side in order in the ninth to post his 41st save.
"It was still a good series for us," Craig said.
Minor is 4-0 over his last six starts ... Lynn fell to 8-3 at home this year ... Kimbrel extended his club record with his 31st straight save conversion ... Atlanta won the season series, 4-3.